This was a hot Sunday in Hungary, Italy and Canada. No, I don't mean because of the weather (which was quite hot too, here in Bergamo). The First Saturday-GM group, the Italian championship semifinal and the strong Ottawa open finally came to an end...
The hottest news come from Budapest, Hungary. The Italian-American IM Fabiano Caruana won the tourney with 7 points out of 9 and scored his third and last GM norm: he is the youngest Italian... and American :-) GM ever (Bobby Fischer and Hikary Nakamura were both 15 years old when they obtained the title). Caruana is 14 years, 11 months and 15 days old: he is the 12th youngest GM of all times, too. Many congratulations to Fabiano, his family and his trainers: you all did a really great job! Official site of the tourney: www.firstsaturday.hu.
A tough battle took place in Cortina (Italy), where a lot of IMs and FMs fought hard to qualify for the Italian championship Final (only five places available), for which GM Michele Godena and IMs Fabiano Caruana and Federico Manca were already qualified (these three were placed first, second and third respectively in the last year champ); three more players (if I don't mind) will be chosen by Fide rating, the twelth participant of the Final will be the winner of the U20 Italian championship, to be held in Fiuggi in July 18 to 26. Coming back to Cortina, eighteen y.o. Daniele Vocaturo from Roma scored 7/9 and edged out six players by half a point, thanks to his win against Elo-favorite IM Sabino Brunello in the last round. Brunello, FM Daniele Genocchio, IM Fabio Bruno, IM Daniel Contin, Alessandro Bonafede (a young Italian master) and FM Francesco Bentivegna shared second place on 6.5; the first four of them are also qualified (thanks to a better tie-break) for the Italian championship Final. Full results: http://www.montebellunascacchi.it/download/CORTINA 2007.doc. No games available (and this is a real pity).
Chinese GM Bu Xiangzhi took clear first in the strong 2007 Canadian open, held in Ottawa (capital city of Canada). Bu scored 8 points out of 10; English super-GM Nigel Short, Polish GM Kamil Miton, Indian GM Chanda Sandipan, Canadian IM Tomas Krnan and Russian GM Bator Sambuev shared second place on 7.5. More than 270 players competed in the event, 22 GMs and nine IMs among them. Official (blog) site: http://canchess.blogspot.com/.
And finally... many congrats and best wishes to Barbara and Andrea for their marriage! Andrea is a chess lover (a strong candidate master) and there were some other players at the bridesgroom's side in the church this morning: his father Roberto (who tought him to play chess), me and Devis, a candidate master himself (we were Andrea's best men). Congrats again and have a wonderful honeymoon (and life :-) )!!
And now here is a very nice game from Canadian open.
Kunte,Ab. (2519) - van Dijk,Ti. (2274) [D37], Ottawa 13.7.2007
1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Be7 4.Nf3 Nf6 5.Bf4 0–0 6.e3 c5 7.dxc5 Bxc5 8.Qc2 Nc6 9.a3 Qa5 10.Nd2
10.0–0–0 is more common, but the text move is also quite popular.
10...Be7 11.Rd1 e5 12.Bg5 d4 13.Nb3 Qd8 14.Be2 a5 15.Na4 g6 is a popular continuation, played several times at top level (even by Kasparov - with Black pieces).
11.cxd5 exd5 12.Bd3 d4 13.0–0 Bxc3 14.Nc4 Qh5 15.bxc3 dxe3
15...Nd5 is the main alternative. Some games - Korchnoj-Lutz (1999) and Topalov-Kramnik (2001) among the others - continued 16.Bg3 dxe3 17.Rae1 Be6 18.fxe3 Rad8 19.Nd6 Ne5 and White has a slight edge.
Probably a new move. White sacrifices a pawn to open the "f" file and get some initiative and attacking chances. 16.Nxe3 Bd7 17.Rab1 is the main line at this point.
16...exf2+ 17.Rxf2 Be6 18.Ne5 Ng4
18...Rae8 looks more precise.
19.Nxg4 Bxg4 20.Rb1 Rad8?!
20...Bc8 (20...Na5?? 21.Rb5) is ugly, but it represents the only way to defend the "b7" pawn, althoughafter 21.Rb5 f5 22.Re2 White has a very good compensation anyway.
Why not 21.Rxb7 ?
Now 21...Bc8 was even better than on move 20. Black has already developed his "a8" Rook, so the "c8" square would be fine for his light square bishop. After 22.Rb5 f5 23.Bc7 Rde8 24.Bxf5 Rxf5 25.Rbxf5 Bxf5 26.Rxf5 Re1+ 27.Kh2 Qh6 the position is totally equal.
At least! White takes back the sacrificed pawn and keeps the better chances.
A weak move. 22...f6 intending both ...Rf7 and ...Ne5 was better.
23.Rb5 Qh4 24.Rc5 Nb8?!
Another dubious move. 24...Ne7 was more active. Now the Knight is out of play.
White prepares his pieces for the final assault.
26...Nd7 27.Bxh6 would lose on the spot, e.g.: 27...gxh6 28.Rxh6 Qd6 (28...Qg5 29.Rh5 Qg7 30.Qe3 Ne5 31.Bh7++-) 29.Qe4 Bf5 30.Rxd6 Bxe4 31.Bxe4+-
27...f5 28.Bxh6! was not much better for Black.
28.Qf3 Nc6 29.Qg3 Kf8?
The final mistake, but 29...Ne7 30.Bxh6 Ng6 31.Bxg7! would be decisive anyway. Now White wins by playing a spectacular combination...
The first (and decisive) blow!
30...Ke7 was the only way to avoid an immediate mate, but after 31.Rxh6 Black is completely hopeless anyway.
31.Bxh6+ Kg8 32.Rg5+ Kh8 33.Bg7+ Kg8 34.Bf6+ Kf8 35.Bh7!
The final blow.
35...Qd1+ 36.Kh2 Qd6+ 37.g3 would only prolong the agony a few more moves.